Having a baby is a big decision, and there are many things that need to be done before conception to ensure a healthy, comfortable pregnancy. If you are considering getting pregnant soon, it’s important that you evaluate your physical, emotional, and mental health and decide whether or not you are really ready for a baby. Confide in your partner and be sure to discuss the various aspects that pregnancy and parenthood will change in your lives. Here is a checklist of things you should be doing before you get pregnant in order to be ready when it does happen.
Visit Your Doctor
If you haven’t already, make an appointment with your Ft. Lauderdale gynecology office. Inform them that you are planning to get pregnant and request an annual exam and pre-conception check-up. At the appointment, you and your doctor will discuss your medical history, exercise and diet habits, and any medications you may be taking. There is a possibility that you will need to switch medications or stop taking them all together before getting pregnant, since many drugs can negatively affect the fetus. Your doctor will also make sure your immunizations are up to date.
Take a Prenatal Vitamin
It’s very important that you begin taking a daily prenatal vitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid before you conceive. Your baby’s brain begins forming long before you would ever know you were pregnant, and if you wait until you test positive, it’s already too late. Your baby’s risk of neural tube and other birth defects significantly increases without the proper amount of folic acid in your diet. Your Ft. Lauderdale gynecology office can recommend a brand and even provide you with a few samples.
Exercise and Eat Healthy
If you haven’t already, now is the time to begin an exercise routine and practice healthy eating habits. At your Ft. Lauderdale gynecology appointment, you should have received some information on proper nutrition and exercise. Follow these guidelines and listen to your body. Be active by doing things you enjoy. Running, swimming, yoga, aerobics, and spinning are all great options for staying fit, and you can continue to do these activities well into your pregnancy. Fill your pantry and refrigerator with nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and lean protein. As you exercise and eat right, you will feel better and have a greater chance of getting pregnant.
Kick Bad Habits
Now is the time to kick any bad habits you have that could affect the health of your baby. This includes smoking, alcohol, caffeine, illegal drugs, and anything else that may be harmful. Remember, everything that enters your bloodstream will cross the placenta barrier and enter the bloodstream of your baby. Seek help for any addictions you may have and be free of them before you get pregnant.
At your Ft. Lauderdale gynecology appointment, request to be tested for common sexually transmitted diseases. Even if you don’t think you have one, it’s better to know for sure before getting pregnant. As you prepare to conceive, practice safe sex and avoid any situations that could be dangerous to your health or your fetus. This also includes environmental hazards such as radiation, chemicals, pesticides, lead, and even loud noise.
As you prepare to get pregnant, be sure to put a lot of thought and effort into your health and well-being so that you are completely ready for this new responsibility. It’s also important to visit your gynecologist, start taking prenatal vitamins, exercise, eat healthy, kick bad habits, and keep yourself safe. If you do, you have a much greater chance of having a healthy pregnancy and will be better prepared for a new baby.
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